Sunday, March 22, 2020

Advice Column.

Dear At Home,

Today, I offer some advice.  No, I am not going to tell you to wash your infernal hands!  But it is going to be advice, and so if you aren't up for any more advice of any kind, you are free to leave the page now, without any blame or shame.

I will give you a few lines of space to make your exit gracefully and discreetly.

First, let's examine my qualifications: I was home-schooled by my parents from kindergarten (there was a short period pf preschool which I remember very vividly and with not a little unease) until age 16, when I began taking courses at the local community college.  I have also been the home-schooler:  we taught my son at home (now 19) until he began taking college courses at age 17.  I have also been writing a book on my experiences of both sides of home schooling.  It isn't anything like ready, and maybe it never will be, but these three things, plus the fact that suddenly many families have been thrust into the position of home schooler and home scholar with little prior experience of either, propels my experience into the upper echelon of experts on home schooling. 

My best advice is brief, but it isn't easy.  There are three steps, and I absolutely stand behind them.  You will achieve astounding results if you follow these suggestions!

Toss out EVERY last one of your expectations of your student.  Really!  All of them.  Be thorough.  Then throw out whatever lame curriculum the school provided you with.  Then, ask your student what they'd like to study, and facilitate whatever that is.

You are now, like it or not, a homeschool teacher.  It is a serious, important job.  It is not (ever!) a battle of wills.

My practices as teacher and student were actually more properly defined as Unschooling, and yours will be too, if you follow my three easy steps!  Also, trot this term out at your next virtual cocktail party- you will impress the pants off of your fellow homeschool teachers!  Also, John Holt is terrific; read his books to inspire you in your new job.